Dual Income, No Kids: Married Couples Share Why They Chose to Be Childfree

Having a child is a major life decision that often requires sacrificing and adjusting one’s lifestyle. For some couples, especially the younger generation, it “just ain’t it.” Lo and behold, the rise of the DINKs – Dual Income, No Kids!

Although it’s not a new phenomenon, the emergence of the trend posed debates all over the Internet and the Philippines is no exception, which is why I asked three millennial couples to share their reasons for choosing the #DINKLife.

Dual Income, No Kids: Married Couples Share Why They Chose to Be Childfree

Financial Independence

There’s no denying that rearing a child is expensive, especially in this economy. In fact, it has become a privilege not many could afford and some couples would rather opt out for practical reasons.

Carlo, a 31-year-old Supply Chain Buyer, and Mae, a 28-year-old Social Media & Design Project Manager, met at the University of the Philippines Los Baños and have been together since 2015. As they found their footing in their respective careers after graduating, the couple decided to get married and move to Canada for a better quality of life.

For Carlo and Mae, being childfree allows them to have more disposable income and allocate savings for future investments and retirement.

“We recognize the financial aspects and lifestyle changes that come with raising children, especially now that we live abroad. We have been living in Toronto since 2021, and the lifestyle here is completely different from that in the Philippines. Cost of living is much higher – housing, childcare, nannies, and extracurricular activities can be expensive."

The couple also believes that their choice is “valid and full of endless possibilities and spontaneity.”

Career Growth

For college sweethearts and career-oriented individuals like Rainier and Rya Lomboy, childbearing isn’t an option at this age.

Rya, a humanitarian worker, shares that she believes she hasn’t done a lot of things she wants to do in terms of career development and personal growth. She is currently 27 years old.

Rya and her husband Rainier, an agricultural worker, have been together for nine years. Rainier, also 27, knew how career-driven Rya was from the very beginning and understood that ultimately, it’s his wife who has more say in the decision since it’s the woman who would go through demanding changes and numerous adjustments from pregnancy and beyond.

“As much as possible, I want to support my wife in her career goals. Kaya if hindi pa right yung time for us to have a child, I am completely onboard with the thought of delaying it.”

Pursuing their career and celebrating their achievements together may be their priority for now but the millennial couple isn’t closing doors to parenthood, expressing that they are open to having a child once they are more stable mentally, emotionally, and financially.

Quality Time

For Patrick, 33, and Aira, 31, being childfree allows them to focus on their relationship more effectively as having no kids means having more time to enjoy each other’s company.

Patrick and Aira’s romantic journey began in 2014 while stationed in Kuala Lumpur. As flight attendants during that time, navigating a long-distance relationship became their norm due to conflicting schedules.

“This challenge intensified when Patrick relocated to Doha in 2016. Our resilience was put to the test when he proposed in 2019, just before the pandemic disrupted our lives. We barely saw each other for over a year due to the ensuing travel restrictions,” Aira shares.

Aira decided to go move back to the Philippines in 2021, and began a new chapter at a marketing agency. “Shortly thereafter, we made the mutual decision to tie the knot and put an end to our long-distance saga after enduring it for five years. In 2022, after a year of marriage, Patrick made a significant sacrifice by resigning from his job in Doha to return home, allowing us to finally unite and be together,” she continues.

"We’re officially in the same place at the same time for almost two years now, cherishing every moment of our togetherness after overcoming years of long-distance challenges.” Aira

Now, the thriving 30-something-couple spends most of their time enjoying new hobbies together as Patrick awaits to be deployed as a nurse and Aira manages the marketing agency she co-founded.

Generational Trauma

The process of becoming a parent may trigger unresolved feelings or trauma from the past, especially from one’s childhood. Taking steps to reflect and heal may be required to avoid passing down similar pain or struggles.

Aira bravely shares this story for the first time, in hopes that she is not alone:

“I've experienced childhood trauma due to not having a good relationship with my parents. Our lack of a happy and good personal relationship led me to worry about passing on this trauma to my child. That's why I'm taking proactive steps to address my mental health and work through my past experiences by going to therapy before considering becoming a parent.” Aira

She also added that, “’It Didn’t Start with You: How Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle’ by Mark Wolynn has been a valuable resource for me in understanding how family trauma can impact us and how to break the cycle. This book has been incredibly helpful in understanding why I don’t see myself having a child right now.”

Freedom and Flexibility

Once a couple turns into parents, it’s inevitable to give up certain life choices – and some are just not ready for this.

“Raising a child takes a lot of effort and devotion, and we feel that we are not in that headspace to bring one into this world. It takes a lot to admit that we are not ready to raise a child." Carlo and Mae

It does take a lot of courage and humility for many couples to admit that their choice is not the same as those who prefer to have a child shortly after they get married.

“I think I’m not mature enough to be a mother. I’m still selfish – I want to travel, hang out with friends, enjoy my youth, and enjoy time with Rainier. We’re all just enjoying our lives and healing our inner child,” Rya

Aira and Patrick also underscores doing what they love “without any hesitation or guilt about missing out on something else.”

“Not having children creates a lot of space and time for us. We can wake up whenever we want without any worries, and we have more time and money to focus on our hobbies and travel. It's nice to have that freedom and flexibility in our lives. Aira and Patrick

Although a childfree lifestyle seems like it’s all rainbows and butterflies, the judgment and unsolicited opinions that come with it may be heavy to bear.

“Family members usually ask ‘Sino magaalaga sa inyo pagtanda niyo’ but we believe that no child should ever have that responsibility on their shoulders and that no one should dictate how you want to live your married life besides you and your spouse.” Carlo and Mae

At the end of the day, the decision to have (or, in this case, not have a child) is a personal one. Instead of giving unsolicited opinions, everyone should learn to value and respect married couples’ choices as bringing a child into this world shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Should a child ever come into the picture one day, parents must carry the responsibility to ensure that the child is well-supported, nurtured, and loved.

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